Since the Eastside Forum last met, plans and developments in the vibrant Eastside quarter have been well underway. Chair of the Eastside Forum and Millennium Point’s CEO, Judith Armstrong, provides us with some key highlights from the latest meeting.

Belmont Works

In our most recent meeting, we were lucky enough to see plans for the renovation of Belmont Works, which forms part of the wider Eastside Locks redevelopment. Belmont Works is a Grade A locally listed red brick Victorian factory building, originally built in 1899 as the headquarters for the Eccles Rubber and Cycle Company. The building has had a number of uses over the years and was most recently used as offices for the Co-operative Society from around the 1960s.

Following significant damage caused by a fire in 2007, developers, Goodman, now has detailed planning consent to reinstate the building to its former glory through a sensitive extension and restoration of the original fabric. The building will be converted into a mixed-use development to incorporate 21,248 sq ft of high-quality office space for small companies and start-up companies, a café and space for the marketing and management teams running the Eastside Locks development.

Whilst the use has not been determined just yet, Lock Keepers Cottage will also be renovated and brought back into use alongside new public realm infrastructure.

With Belmont Works having been derelict for so long, this really is an extremely exciting development for the Eastside area and I look forward to being able to tell you more as our Eastside Forum meetings progress.

Curzon B

During our forum, we also saw plans for Curzon B – the six-storey extension to BCU’s (Birmingham City University’s) existing Curzon building. Planning has been obtained and BCU is looking to award the contract in April, with completion due in autumn 2017.  The extension will provide 10,000 square metres of accommodation supporting a range of functions including large social learning spaces, external rooftop gardens and experimental teaching spaces.

HS2

Jonathan Lord, the West Midlands senior engagement manager for HS2 Ltd, sits on the Eastside Forum and we will be working closely with him to ensure that the benefits from HS2 spill out beyond the station and into the entire Eastside area.

We heard in the meeting that there will be a community and business fund available to bid for funds for initiatives to help keep areas open for business – something the forum may consider bidding for. This funding has been increased and could also potentially be used to replace lost open spaces. In addition to making the area more attractive and inviting, it is hoped that any additional space will make Eastside more accessible and open it up to the wider city centre.

As you’ll be aware from my previous blog post, there are a number of high profile developments taking place and construction proposals planned for the Eastside area. One of the key aims of the Eastside Forum over the coming months, combined with Jonathan’s role at HS2 Ltd, is to engage in conversations with all stakeholders on how the HS2 construction process is managed and how we can ensure Eastside remains open for business throughout.

Jonathan will be providing a more formal update in our next meeting and more detailed construction plans should be shared by the end of the year, so do check my next blog post to find out more.

Promoting Eastside

In the meeting, we also talked about how we can promote the Eastside area more and shout about the developments taking place to a wider audience. It was the general consensus of the forum for a dedicated Eastside Forum website to be set up, giving businesses and members of the public the opportunity to keep up to date with all of the latest updates, developments and information in one handy place. Ideas for the website will be discussed at the next meeting so watch this space!

Once again, it’s fantastic to see all of these developments in Eastside coming together and for Millennium Point to be at the centre of it all.

With the announcement of our 15th anniversary celebrations coming soon, Millennium Point has never been busier. Make sure you take a look at our What’s On section to find out about everything taking place here over the coming months.

What's On
Judith's Meet the Team blog post